What Is Wet Coefficient Of Friction: Facts and FAQs


The coefficient of friction is to find the ratio of friction present on the surface. In this article, we will know about what is wet coefficient of friction.

The wet coefficient of friction is one of the kinds of friction coefficients. It is mainly used to determine the magnitude of frictional force present on the wet and solid floors. It is a numerical value used to calculate the frictional coefficient when a body is in motion.

Let us know in detail about what is wet coefficient of friction.

Wet friction

Wet friction comes under the unique category of frictional force. It acts between two different types of surfaces.

Wet friction has comparatively less frictional force than dry friction because the arrangement of atoms/molecules in a liquid matter is loosely bound than solid, reducing frictional force. It acts between the concrete surface and a wet surface. 

The name itself indicates the surface nature of wet friction.

What is Wet coefficient of friction

The wet coefficient of friction is used to determine the force of friction between the different surfaces.

The wet coefficient of friction is usually taken as the ratio of force of wet friction acting between the two objects in contact. It determines how much opposing force must be provided to an object to stop. It is usually observed between one solid and one wet surface. The strength of friction on wet surfaces is less compared to all other surfaces.

Now let us see some examples of the wet coefficient of friction.                                                      

Examples for a wet coefficient of friction

In general, we can observe wet surfaces in many places; all these wet floors contain some amount of frictional force. Here are some examples of the wet coefficient of friction.

Application of oil lubricants

In general, we apply drops of oil lubricants to our vehicle engine to make it move freely with the more negligible effect of frictional force. It is an essential procedure used to maintain the texture of pieces of machinery. Here, the wet coefficient friction will be less after applying the lubricants.

what is wet coefficient of friction
Image Credit: Pixabay free images

Person diving into a river

If you observe a swimmer, you will see that he stretches out his hands while diving to maintain the balance to overcome the friction. It is necessary because it feels hard to move forward if the wet friction coefficient is high, so he has to maintain a streamlined position to move forward.

Image Credit: Pixabay free images

Erosion of soil

During heavy rainfall, there is a possibility of washing away an upper layer of soil. After the rain stops, the surface will be wet; here, we can observe wet friction, i.e., when we step the surface, it slips down, which may lead to a person’s falling. The slipping is possible only due to the low value of the coefficient of friction.


Image Credit: Wikipedia

Oil on window hinges

It is common in the household to apply oil drops on the hinges of windows or doors to make the movement manageable. This easy moving of windows is due to less wet coefficient of friction between the solid window surface and the moist soil surface.

Holding objects with a wet hand

When you try to hold any object or material with your wet hands, it slips down easily. It is because of the lower value of the wet coefficient of friction. The wet friction comes into action since it is a wet surface, and you try to hold the solid object.

what is wet coefficient of friction

Image Credit: Pixabay free images

These are some essential daily life examples where we experience wet friction and its coefficient.

Factors affecting wet coefficient of friction

Many factors affect the frictional forces, which in turn affects the coefficients of friction. The elements are as follows;

  • It depends on the types of frictional force acting.
  • It depends on the nature of the contact surfaces.
  • It depends on the irregularities present in the two surfaces.
  • Pressure between the materials in contact.
  • It also depends on the area of the contact.

Those mentioned above are primary factors that affect the wet coefficient of friction.

Formula to calculate the wet coefficient of friction

A similar procedure used to calculate the coefficient of friction of fluid is used for wet surfaces.

  • The general formula is given below,

Where,

F refers to the wet frictional force

A refers to the surface area

= refers to the coefficient of wet friction

can also use the other formula to calculate the coefficient of wet friction.

F = N

Where,

= Coefficient of friction

This is the formula used in general to calculate the wet coefficient of friction.

Problems based on the wet coefficient of friction

Let us solve some problems based on the wet coefficient of friction to understand it better.

Problem 1

Calculate the wet friction coefficient if the value of F is given as 5N and the cross-sectional area is given as 12m, and the velocity gradient is given as 0.2/s?

Solution:

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5 = *12 * 0.2

= 5/12 * 0.2

= 2.08

Therefore, the coefficient of wet friction is 2.08

Problem 2

Calculate the wet friction coefficient if they have given the total wet frictional force 15N and the normal force acting on it is 18N?

Solution:

F = N

18 = * 15

= 18/15

= 1.2

Therefore, the coefficient of wet friction is 1.2

Frequently Asked Questions on the wet coefficient of friction | FAQs

Is the coefficient of friction and wet coefficient of friction similar?

The wet coefficient of friction is used to know the value of friction present on wet floors.

Both coefficients of friction and wet coefficient are comparatively the same. In the coefficient of friction, we find out a force of friction to be calculated irrespective of the surface, but in the case of the wet coefficient of friction, we estimate it on wet floors.

Is dry friction smaller than wet friction?

The dry friction of an object is always higher compared to wet friction.

Dry friction coefficient has a higher value compared to wet coefficient friction. The wet floor contains water, which exerts a less frictional force on the objects, leading them to slip. Even the arrangement of molecules plays a vital role in exhibiting frictional force.

Raghavi Acharya

I am Raghavi Acharya, I have completed my post-graduation in physics with a specialization in the field of condensed matter physics. Having a very good understanding in Latex, gnu-plot and octave. I have always considered Physics to be a captivating area of study and I enjoy exploring the various fields of this subject. In my free time, I engage myself in digital art. My articles are aimed towards delivering the concepts of physics in a very simplified manner to the readers. Let’s connect through - LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/raghavi-c-s-260a801b1 EMAIL ID: raghavics6@gmail.com

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